Well, everything has finally arrived. I have my 18.5" WSM, Maverick ET-732 probes, lump charcoal, and cherry wood chunks. After looking over a lot of advice in this forum, I am hoping this will lay a solid foundation as a get more serious about smoking. What I really need though are some tips and pointers for my first ever smoke with two whole chickens.
I figured that with two whole chickens (Costco) I can get a better feeling for getting the temp right for my smoker, while also not wasting the more pricier meats if it doesn't turn out well. Not looking to create any mind blowing BBQ just yet, but really trying to get the most out of my first attempt.
It would be incredibly helpful if you guys gave the steps you take into smoking a whole chicken from being thawed to final product. Some information that could be useful would be using brine or no brine, recipes for a brine and the wait time, what steps you take from brine to smoker, cooking temps, finished internal temps, cooking times, etc.
Additionally, with those of you that are more familiar with the WSM's, I would appreciate some tips on how to utilize it in the best way. For example, how much water for water pan, emptying the ashes, how many chunks of wood (wood is smoke ready and slightly larger than a fist), and setting the vents for optimal smoke control?
Smoking up here in Cleveland, OH. Will definitely be posting final product pictures (if all turns out well, of course lol)